While it was extremely difficult to choose just one winner, the first prize went to this young woman from Portland named Latonia Andy. The 21-year old represented her family history by participating. Her great-grandmother, Amanda French Wattamet, was the winner of the pageant in 1940. I happened to pick Latonia as my #1!
The beadwork was a combination of old and new. Many of the young women were wearing pieces they had beaded themselves.
Part of the judging criteria was for each participant to ride in on a horse and to explain all their horse trappings.
Welcome to the second of three posts covering the OC team out west, where they visited our friends at PENDLETON and experienced the 100th anniversary of the Pendleton Round-up!
Going to the Pendleton Round-Up was truly the experience of a lifetime. Our two days there were action-packed, starting with the incredible American Indian Beauty Contest, which we were honored to help judge. If only we had known how difficult this task would be, seeing that all of the young women in the contest proved to be incredibly talented and well-versed in their heritage!
The American Indian Beauty Contest is a time-honored Pendleton Round-Up event that generations of young women have participated in. While many of the outfits were recently hand-crafted, some of the contestants' regalia and horse trappings have been in their family for over 100 years! Family seems to be a pillar in American Indian culture - while the young woman is the participant, family members play an important role in the competition by helping to prepare the girl's regalia and decorating her horse. Take a gander at our snapshots!